As if I was looking for another one. My 8/18.17 post was about being in an uncomfortable situation. And staying there.
Tuesday, BAM, there I am again. I’ve wanted to attend a drum circle, a/k/a drum therapy. I figured after talk and laughter therapy, how weird could drum therapy be?
Last year, I contacted circle leader, Michael, about attending. He was most welcoming. He was aware that the last time I hit anything resembling a drum was on my high chair tray with a spoon. Wait, that’s not true. I bang my head against the wall regularly.
Basically, instruments are not in my repertoire. Most things musical are foreign to me, other than I am a good audience member. Tracy agreed to join me, in spite of her headache. I prayed for a rainout. It rained, so drum circle was instantly redirected from Villa Katherine to Clat Adams’ shelter house. This group is flexible and unshakeable.
Picnic tables were moved to create a big circle, so we could sit on the benches. In the center of the room, for those who came empty handed, were all types of drums, tambourines, bongos and rattles and blocks or frogs you scrape ridges to create a “r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-t-click” sound, with a stick. It’s hard to describe, but when Don Henley and The Eagles play Hotel California, I become fixated as he shakes a rattle throughout the ballad.
Drum circle was called to order. Someone rimmed a bowl, creating a sound like your kids make at Christmas Dinner on crystal glasses, with their finger. Next, we got smudged, which is a Native American custom. “Smudging” is done by wafting sage smoke on anyone who gets in line. I looked at Tracy and we almost got hysterical. But that would’ve been immature. I’m thinking college in the 70’s, wondering how I’d drive home. It’s like getting wanded by TSA at the airport, but drum circlers are nicer. Its purpose is to cleanse or heal people or areas of bad mojo. I was all in. She wafted me with an eagle’s feather, first front, then back. She ended with a feather tap on each shoulder.
“Let’s begin,” he said. With little instruction, Michael, beat a rhythm, that he would continue. Once you heard the rhythm, you joined in to tap, beat, shake or scrape your drum piece. I might as well have been a fish flopping around on the concrete. But nobody really cared about the sound I made. How would I know when to stop? I felt apprehensive. I told myself to try and enjoy the experience or what’s the purpose of coming? Michael tied up the piece like a gift with a bow and we all knew how to stop on a dime. We exchanged instruments between pieces. I took the frog and stick that Alta had returned to the collection. It had a cool, bamboo-ish sound. After that piece, Alta complimented me, “You play a great frog!” ELATION! Here I was in awe of Tracy on my left; Alta on the right. Both acted liked they’d drummed their entire lives. But I’m rockin’ the frog. So there. I went to get my fourth drum and sat down. “Bobbe, put it back.” Huh? “We’re done!” NOOOO. “It’s over!” Doesn’t that figure? About the time I get comfortable, it’s over. I’ll just have to go back sometime, now that I know the routine. Drum Circle. Check it out. It heals what ails you. Even Tracy’s headache had gone away. Boom-cha-ka-la-ka.